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Re: Cool and Useful LISP for the .emacs file


From: Burton Samograd
Subject: Re: Cool and Useful LISP for the .emacs file
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 17:00:06 GMT
User-agent: Gnus/5.1002 (Gnus v5.10.2) Emacs/21.3 (gnu/linux)

Alan Mackenzie<address@hidden> writes:

> Burton Samograd <address@hidden> wrote on Mon, 10 Nov 2003 21:00:03
> GMT:
>> Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:
>
>>> I still haven't heard from a Lisp hacker who found it difficult to
>>> switch to C or Java (painful, yes of course, but not difficult, except
>>> maybe for manual memory management), so I'd say that Lisp's rut is
>>> rather shallow indeed.
>
>> From my experience, switching to lisp is a bit more work than the other
>> way around, due to the type of people that helped shape lisp in the
>> first place.  C and UNIX were developed around the "worse is better"
>> type philosophy, where LISPy systems were more focused on the
>> consistent and perfect side.
>
> All due respect, and everything, but the above is incoherent nonsense.
> "Worse is better"?  What's that supposed to mean?  "..due to the type of
> people that helped shape lisp"?  That seems disparaging.  What have
> personalities got to do with the difficulties of learning a new
> programing language?


Another poster replied as to what "Worse is better" was refering to.
Just because you haven't heard of something doesn't make it nonsense.
As a hint, when you're wondering what something is supposed to mean,
rather than do an instant-flame, try googling.
 
Also, try hanging out in comp.lang.lisp for a while where you'll get
to hear discussions and talk with the people that helped form the CL
standard.  There are some very smart people that have some very good
reasons for why things are the way they are in the lisp world and
their personalities have *a lot* to do with it.  They have a knowledge
base of many years of experience that they have incorporated into the
Lisp standard, and it takes almost as long to learn all the nuances. 

This is part of the difficulty where people that are new to something
find it different to what they are used to so they feel a need to
change it to something more like what they are comfortable with rather
than learning why it was done that way in the first place.  

>
> [ .... ]
>
>> For the ones that want to attack the LISP learning curve there are
>> plenty of resources available from the existing LISP community, but
>> don't expect much help if you dive in and start telling them their
>> language should be changed because you "don't get it".  LISP is great
>> and LISP is fun, but it's still a programming language, but much more
>> akin to a sketchbook than a paintroller.
>
> A "pain troller".  What a strange concept!  Such posters are, thankfully,
> not common on gnu.emacs.help, but they are regretfully abundant elsewhere
> on Usenet.  :-(

That's "paint roller"; sorry for missing a space.  I figured that most
posters like yours were a bit less abundant in these groups...I was
just sharing my thoughts on a programming language.

-- 
burton samograd
http://kruhftwerk.dyndns.org


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